Anonymous Mailbag

It’s Tuesday, rejoice in the distractions provided by the anonymous mailbag.

As always send your questions to claytravis@gmail.com, anonymity guaranteed.

Okay, here we go:

“My wife has recently been talking about the idea of getting herself microchipped. Yes, as in putting a tiny GPS tracker into her own body.
She says she has a fear of being kidnapped, and this would lower her stress. 
I have no idea if it’s even commercially available, but doesn’t this have major privacy implications? It seems like someone, governmental or otherwise, would have access to knowing exactly where you are all the time.
On the benefits side, we are not particularly wealthy, and while she’s young (23), small, and pretty, I think the odds of her getting kidnapped must be astronomically low.
Please give me some ways to talk her down off this ledge, should it come down to it.”
First, unless you are running a drug cartel the odds of your wife getting kidnapped are virtually zero.
She’s been watching way too many Lifetime movies.
I’m not even sure a grown woman has been kidnapped by a total stranger in America this year.
Having said that, I sort of like the idea of microchipping young kids to ensure they can never get lost. I’d love to have a GPS on my kids while they’re young. (I know you can do it with a phone, but a phone is easy to lose). I think adults is a bridge too far, but now I know I’m going to get kidnapped and be in the trunk of a car thinking to myself, “I knew I should have gotten microchipped!”
Speaking of which, my wife said when I go out in an SEC town for a football game she can just go on Twitter and type in my name there and see everywhere I’ve been that night with people tagging me in pictures even if I didn’t Tweet anything at all.
I hadn’t thought about this before, but if you and your friends have a very substantial social media presence the same thing may be true for you even if you aren’t posting anything.
I’m also coming around on the idea of every felons being automatically added as part of a national registry for crime research. I know there are all sorts of concerns with privacy here, but, at least in theory, wouldn’t this drastically lower crime?
If you knew you would probably get caught if you committed a serious violent crime, don’t you think crime rates would probably go down? And given the fact that most felons aren’t only committing one felony in their life, you could almost catch everyone here.
Obviously the challenge here is if someone set you up by using your DNA to frame you for a crime you didn’t commit — and granted its scary for the government to have access to this information — but 99% of us never commit any violent crimes or get charged with a felony so this would only impact a tiny percentage of the overall population.
Wouldn’t you love to have a 100% capture and conviction rate for those who do commit crimes of violence?
To me this is just a no-brainer.

“My wife has this friend she’s known since middle school.  They lost touch after high school and the friend recently moved to the town we live in now.  We’re in our mid 30’s and they’ve reconnected and we go on double dates with her and her boyfriend and generally have a great time. The girl throws up some serious red flags of crazy clingy girlfriend. But if the guy likes her who am I to judge? The boyfriend and I get along well and I’m starting to really consider him a friend of mine, not just my wife’s friend’s boyfriend. And I know you know how hard it is for adult males with kids to make new guy friends. 

So this girl had a kid in high school and has all these regrets of how she didn’t get a chance to raise him under better circumstances and blah blah blah…  Well her boyfriend has a couple of kids himself and has made it clear he absolutely doesn’t want more children. So her and my wife talk like girls do, and my wife tells me how the friend prays and begs to somehow get pregnant, and how she just really wants another baby to be able to do all the fun things mom’s with means are able to. 

From my understanding they are relying on her for birth control, and I don’t know what conversations they’ve had specifically, but I’m not sure if she has made the extent of her desires known to her boyfriend. Clay, I’ve got 3 kids under 7 and the scariest thing my wife could tell me right now would be she’s pregnant. My fear for this guy is she’s going to trick him into having a baby. My wife has forbidden me from saying anything. What say you, oh wise one, do I keep quiet or tell the guy what I’ve heard with the fear of him being pissed I’m meddling?” 

I think you definitely tell the guy, but I think you make the conversation a natural one and make it look like you are more worried about yourself than you are him. That way you have plausible deniability if your wife brings up the conversation because her friend complains about it.

How do you manage this?

By talking about yourself.

You point out that you would jump off a bridge if your wife had another baby and ask him what he’d do if his current girlfriend got pregnant.

That way you get a definite answer from him about his future plans.

Assuming he says he doesn’t want any other kids then I think you can say, “Man, I totally get not wanting any more kids, but based on the way I’ve overheard the girls talking, I think both of them might be interested in more kids, especially your girlfriend.”

That way you leave it open to him to explore it further but you’ve let him know something without involving your wife’s conversations with her girlfriend.

Put it this way, if you were this guy, wouldn’t you want to know if your girlfriend might be trying to get pregnant without you knowing? If the answer is yes, then I think you have to tell him.

The most amazing thing would be if he told you, “Dude, I got snipped two years ago. No worries here.”

“I’ve worked at the same job going on 11 years. It’s a small office – myself, my boss and three part timers. It’s not the most lucrative job out there and the benefits aren’t that good, but it’s rewarding and fits my lifestyle.

My boss is a better person than an actual boss. We get along fine, but really don’t hang out once 5:00 p.m. hits. Well, my school is going to the Final Four. I’ve never been and was excited to watch the games.

However, at the conclusion of my school’s victory, my boss texted me with a no-strings attached offer: two tickets and hotel for the Final Four. Completely out of left field. Being the boss, he makes more than me, and it appears enough to gift Final Four tickets. My question how do I give my thanks? I was thinking a $50 gift card to him and his wife’s favorite restaurant. Would that suffice? And should my best friend, who I am taking, be pitching in a monetary ‘thank you’ as well?

God Bless & Guns Up!”

This is an awesome gesture by your boss, enjoy the trip.

But I think the $50 restaurant gift card is a really awkward thank you.

I’d buy him something at the Final Four — some sort of souvenir for him or his kids, if he has any — as a thank you for the trip.

Then somewhere down the line I’d invite your boss and his wife out to dinner with you and your wife.

As for whether your friend owes anything, I mean, you’re giving him tickets to the game, I’d think he’d at least help out with the hotel, but he shouldn’t be involved in giving a thank you to your boss, that’s your responsibility.

“My girlfriend is Korean and we’ve been dating for a little over a year now. She’s a left winger and when we get into political discussions her fallback is usually “well, you’re not a minority, so you don’t know.”  But any time I ask her if she’s felt oppressed, she brings up one isolated incident in New York where some homeless guy called her racist names. 

I’m not downplaying how shitty that is, but I would argue Asians are the only ethnicity who have life considerably better than white people in 2019. They’re far more educated, they make more money, and they aren’t nearly as subject to racist insults as black people are (you could argue white people are attacked for their race more than Asians, too). For the most part, everyone’s cool with Asians. Plus, they get the added benefits of being minorities, so they’re accepted and empowered by the left. They are contributing members to society, so the right likes them, too. So my question is, has there ever been a better time to be Asian in America?”

There has never been a better time to be Asian in America, but I also don’t think there has ever been a better time to be in America, period.

I think things were pretty great before Trump and I think they’ll be pretty great after he leaves as well. I’m bullish on America.

That’s because the average American has never had more money and education on a per capita basis than we have right now. The unemployment rate is near historic lows for all races, the stock market is near all time highs, the median per capita income has never been higher for everyone in this country.

Yet people are just running around furious all day long.

Now as for being Asian in America in particular, clearly you don’t know what it’s like to be Asian, but I do think Asian success reflects an important lesson in modern society — culture matters more than race.

That is, if you adopt and espouse successful habits in your home — or in a larger culture — you will be successful in America regardless of your background.

There’s a huge controversy in New York City right now because Asian students dominate elite high school admissions. I mean, just kick the crap out of everyone. The same thing is happening at Harvard, where it appears there’s a cap on Asian enrollment and Asians aren’t treated as minorities — and receive no affirmative action based on their race — for purposes of college admissions there.

Why does this happen?

Because Asian parents, as a group, are obsessed with education and insist that their children study and put forth substantial time and effort in their schooling. They won’t accept failure. This obsession isn’t just with wealthy Asian parents either, it’s with all Asian income groups.

Good for them, that’s the quintessential American dream — if you work hard, you will prosper. That’s as true now as it ever has been.

Finally, there’s an important finding that gets virtually no media attention — if you graduate high school, get married, and don’t have a kid before 25 years old in this country regardless of your race or where you started socioeconomically your poverty rate in this country is virtually zero.

That’s amazing to me because it’s something which theoretically everyone could attain. Now graduating high school, getting married, and not having a kid before 25 isn’t guaranteed to make you rich, but it virtually guarantees you’ll never be poor.

So why aren’t we beating kids in school over the head with these three goals?

Hell, why isn’t every presidential candidate espousing it as his primary goal for the country?

Because personal responsibility and individual striving are being devalued and collective victimization and tribal group think designed to divide us is our focus instead.

“I am a sportswriter for a national newspaper and I love my job. I have been with the paper for the last two years and it’s been so gratifying getting to work in the field that I love, especially since journalism school was filled with professors saying we would never find work. 
That being said, newspapers are dying and the company is constantly under the stress of budget cuts. It has impacted me to the point where I’m constantly being asked to do more work without more pay. I fear, like many cases, this will lead to me being laid off. 
Should I ride it out with this paper or is there another sports-related field that I should pursue? I love the city I live in and the reporting I do, but sometimes I think staying put is just delaying the inevitable. But at the same time, there are not a lot of vacant sports-writing gigs up for grabs.” 
Keep the job you have now, but think about what your next move is going to be if you lose this job.
If you’re insecure in your job you should be saving as much of your salary as you can to prepare for the day when you don’t have that job.
Gone are the days where you worked at one company for forty years and then retired.
You have to be pro-active in thinking about your career in five year windows or less and you have to be constantly prepared to lose your job. Not because you’re doing bad work, but just because that’s what is going to happen in lots of places.
I think everyone out there, from the day you start working, should be saving up a six month cushion in the event you’re fired or forced out.
Good luck.

“I can only imagine how many times you’ve been asked this.. but how does a woman approach a male in the workplace she wants to date?  Generally I’d want him to approach me… I feel like he wants to but is scared.  Rightfully so… it’s known to be a big “no-no” from the higher-ups that no office relationships should occur.  It’s a small office too.. about 15 people.  I was thinking a nice gesture like bringing him his favorite candy or something as a little nudge to show my interest.  I wouldn’t dare even bother with this if I didn’t really feel like it was worth it.”

Women, I think, are going to have to get more aggressive about asking men out given the modern #metoo culture.

Many men are terrified of doing something wrong, especially at work.

So their default response is going to be keeping their head down and avoiding doing anything that could be construed as remotely inappropriate with a woman at work.

If you like this guy, make up a story about how you want to watch the Final Four this weekend at a sports bar, but none of your girlfriends want to go with you and you don’t want to go by yourself. So ask if he’ll come watch the games with you.

If he likes you, even if he hates sports, he will come watch games with you.

Boom, you’ve got yourself a date without actually asking him on a date.

And if he says no even with you putting out the suggestion, he’s too much of a pussy for you to date anyway, move on.

“So the most mortifying moment of my life happened last week, and my first though was, “Well I have to tell Clay about this.” 

So last week I’m leaving my house for work. A couple mins after I leave the house, I feel my stomach start to turn over. No big deal, I left early enough where I could make a stop at the shitter before I have to clock in for my shift. Stoping isn’t an option, as there’s not even a gas station between me and work. As I get closer, my stomach gets worse and worse. To the point where I am driving with my left hand and using my right to push my ass cheeks into the car door in hopes it might help me not shit my pants. Although it was painful enough where I’ll admit that I considered shitting my pants so it would stop. 

I finally make it into the parking garage and park. I know at this point it’s roughly 200 yards to the nearest bathroom. At this point I have to accept a horrible truth, there’s no way I’m gonna make it to that bathroom without liquid shit running down my legs and soaking right through my scrub pants. I’m honestly worried about keeping my bowels under control long enough to get out of my car. Luckily could do that. And I noticed just to my right, a fire exit stairwell that is so out of the way that it’s never used. I decide it was my only choice.

 I waddle through the door, down a flight of stairs, pull my pants half way down, did a wall sit on a landing, and let it explode right there. I clean myself up the best I can with a couple napkins I had grabbed out of my glove box. I then walked to that bathroom 200 yards away to finish wiping, where I proceeded to find out that had in fact sharted in my pants on the drive. I had to throw away my boxers, confess everything to my wife in a text, and spend the first couple hours of work going commando till she could bring me clean underwear. 

My question to you isn’t what should I have done, I will go to my grave saying I had no other option. My questions are: 1) How lucky am I that I am still married? 2) I am still allowed to live in civilized society, or do I have to go live in a cave my the Neanderthal that I am?

Also, if the janitor that had to clean up my shit is an Anonymous Mailbag reader, I’m sorry.” 

Writing your wife that you pooped your pants and she has to bring you underwear to work has to be a top five moment when your wife questions why in the world she ever married you.

But think about this poor janitor.

He comes to work and sees that someone has shit the stairwell.

And then has to clean that up.

The poor bastard.

He’s the real victim here.

Send your anonymous mailbag questions to claytravis@gmail.com, anonymity guaranteed.

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